Facts are sacred. The truth always makes the best story. You do not make shit up. Not only ought this stuff to be obvious, but it ought to come instinctively. Isn’t the whole attraction of joining an unglamorous, overworked, underpaid trade like journalism that you want to discover the truth about the world: all the stuff that they would rather you didn’t know?
That’s certainly been my own experience in the last few years covering the climate change/enviro-lunacy beat... I know I’m doing good and making a real difference: there are some devious bastards out there doing terrible stuff and I’m exposing their knavery and holding them to account.
Sometimes I get asked by people on the other side of the argument: “What if you’re wrong?”
Here’s the first thing I’ll do if I’m wrong about climate change. I’ll write a big piece explaining why I’m wrong. Then I’ll find someone who is prepared to pay me for writing the opposite of what I do now.
This isn’t because I’m a moral paragon. It’s because I’m lazy and because I prefer the easier life: writing journalism where you have to keep making up your “ facts ” is much, much harder than doing what I do now , which is basically, copying out true facts and then adding a few nice adjectives and thinking up a snarky final sentence."
Like : “It is not my job to sit down and read peer-reviewed papers because I simply haven't got the time..."